Today’s mix is all over the place. A fitting thing, given my thoughts have been that way lately. We begin with a Psalm:
I cry with my voice to the Lord,
with my voice I make supplication to the Lord,
2 I pour out my complaint before him,
I tell my trouble before him.
3 When my spirit is faint,
thou knowest my way!
In the path where I walk
they have hidden a trap for me.
4 I look to the right and watch,
but there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me,
no man cares for me.
5 I cry to thee, O Lord;
I say, Thou art my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.
6 Give heed to my cry;
for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors;
for they are too strong for me!
7 Bring me out of prison,
that I may give thanks to thy name!
The righteous will surround me;
for thou wilt deal bountifully with me.
As is often the case, David is someone I can relate to. I have been struggling against a feeling of hopelessness for a long time now, and I don’t see it going away. But at the same time I am resisting giving in to it. Whatever his faults, and they were many, David was someone who never gave in to that despair in a final way. Neither did other suffering figures, such as Joseph, who I would argue had it worse. So whatever else, I resolve to do the same.
The following was the Gospel message today in my Eastern Rite parish:
35 As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging; 36 and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me receive my sight.” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
What really grabbed my attention with this reading today was the blind man’s reaction after gaining his sight- he glorified God. This is something we can take for granted, God’s favor. All too often we are showered with graces and we never even give it a second thought. How often do we stop to thank God for all he has given us? I know I have been particularly bad about this. Maybe this new year is a chance for me to be better.